In an unambiguous message, the Supreme Court on Tuesday told real estate giant Supertech to return flat buyers' money, brushing aside its plea of financial constraints and the prospects of its sinking.
"Either you sink or die, we are not concerned. You will have to pay back the money to home buyers. We are least bothered about the financial status," the bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel told the firm.
The court's stern message came as senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for it, told the bench that the builder did not have funds as money invested by the flat buyers has been spent in the construction of the building towers. He tried to draw a distinction with another real estate giant Unitech saying that later did not have a building whereas Supertech had them.
Telling the court that it could not act as a banker, Dhavan said that not all the flat buyers were against the real estate builder, pointing out that some of them have filed the plea challenging the Allahabad High Court's 2014 order directing demolition of two building towers.
The Allahabad High Court had on April 11, 2014 ordered the demolition, coupled with direction that flat buyers money should be returned with 14 per cent interest in three months' time.
The top court had on May 5, 2014, ordered status quo thereby putting on hold the demolition.
The bench was Tuesday informed that of 628 flat buyers, 274 have sought alternate arrangements, 74 have sought re-investment and 108 have sought refund of their money.
Directing the Supertech to return 17 flat buyers money in four weeks' time, the bench asked PSU National Building Construction Corporation to submit its inspection report by October 25.
The top court had on July 27 asked the NBCC to examine whether the distance between two disputed 40-storey buildings towers at Supertech's Emerald Court Complex in Greater Noida was in accordance with building regulations.
The court had on July 19 ordered the realty major to deposited Rs 5 crore with the court's registry, which it has complied with.
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